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May 2001 Presidents Message.

Messier Marathon Buddies!

Hands-up if you did not make it down to the Anza Messier Marathon? For those of us that went -we might think that would be the easier question to ask - rather than the other way around!

In other words - there were a rather large number of us there! I don't think there can be any doubt that we were successful in getting even more people down to Anza for a somewhat chilly March star party that have ever done before.

The following photograph - taken by OCA Member Gregory Pyros - will give you all some idea of how "friendly" everyone became on the new pads in the football field area.


photo by OCA Member Gregory Pyros


Every square inch of the new pads were taken up by people and their scopes. Now we have to plan on completing the additional four pads left to go.

I met many people who mentioned this was their first ever trip to the Anza site. They decided to come down after all the efforts we have been making over the past several months to ensure that as many members as possible were aware of this jewel available to all of us. Needless to say - everyone who went - left with a very personal understanding of why our Anza site is so great for viewing - having shared the evening and the heavens with many other like-minded and friendly people.

You may recall the OCA board decided to invite interested non-members out to the Anza site for the Messier Marathon. To this end - I managed to drive one potential new member, Henry Diaz, down to the site. He brought along his own Meade ETX 125 - and was most impressed by both our facilities and the overwhelming support he received from other members in helping him get to grips with some of the trickier functions of his telescope. Henry found out about us by searching for an astronomy club in the Orange County area through the web.

I also met up with another young new potential member and his family who I had been communicating with for a few weeks about visiting Anza. Matthew Strain is a very enthusiastic beginning Astronomer who wanted to get a chance to experience the Messier Marathon - and most of all look through as many telescopes as he could. Below is an excerpt from an email his mother, Elaine, sent me after the visit.

I was suprised to discover that, above all the astronomical
things he did and learned, the thing that impressed him the MOST was "how nice, friendly, and kind everyone is here!" He went on and on about it!

Matthew is looking forward to one day purchasing a Meade LX200 or similar telescope and he spent much of the night looking through my 10" LX200 as we marked off our Messier Marathon sheet to show our progress.

We also shared the evening with Jennifer Garcia and her sister. Jennifer is the manager of the Discovery Channel Store in Brea Mall. We had been talking for some time about getting her staff down to Anza to allow them to get some first hand experience with the telescopes they sell - and to allow them to truly understand the telescopes capabilities. Jennifer brought with her some of the entry-level telescopes from Meade - such as the ETX 60AT. While we did not use these little scopes for the entire messier marathon - everyone was impressed with the capabilities of such a small and inexpensive unit.

Looking on to some other club business.

I announced at the April meeting the intention of the OCA Board to conduct an extensive member survey. The following text comes from the introduction to the survey - and will give you all the background to why the OCA Board wants to do this.

As one of over 700 members of the Orange County Astronomers - I want to thank you for taking the time to help us (and you) by responding to this survey. This is quite an extensive survey and will require about 10 to 15 minutes of your time. But we know that you will want to take the time to carefully answer this survey - as the results will help shape the future of this club for you.

The OCA has been around for over 30 years. During that time we have grown to become a major force in the furtherance of the astronomical science within Orange County. We pride ourselves in not just being the biggest but also the best astronomy club in the world.

We got here by building a club based upon a very firm foundation of objectives to further the science of Astronomy by all means possible, by building a world-class observatory, by providing research opportunities for members, and by making this hobby of ours FUN and accessible to everyone.

We know that we have many new members in our club and we know that things don't always stay the same. We want to make sure this club is doing what its members most want and need in order to allow everyone to get the most out of this fantastic hobby. By filling out this survey you will be giving valuable feedback to the OCA Board (the group of 11 members elected by the membership to run this club).


This survey is most efficiently handled if we get each member to fill out the survey on-line using a simple web-based survey system.

If you have access to the web - you may fill in the survey by typing the following address into your browser.

http://www.chapman.edu/oca/survey.htm

The OCA Board perfectly understand that some of you will be unable to complete the survey online - and we definitely do not want to miss the opportunity of including your valuable feedback and ideas. It will be possible to request a printed copy of the survey - or to pick one up at the May 13th OCA Meeting. We will then manually input your responses as soon as you return your completed surveys.

Liam Kennedy
"every day we are connecting ever more photons of light from distant galaxies to the hearts, minds and imaginations of our members and others in our community."


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Prior Presidents Messages
 July 2017 President's Message
 June 2017 President's Message
 May 2017 President's Message
 April 2017 President's Message
 March 2017 President's Message
 2012 OCA Board Election Results
 April 2010 President's Message
 February 2010 President's Message
 January 2010 President's Message
 November 2009 President's Message
 October 2009 President's Message
 September 2009 President's Message
 August 2009 President's Message
 July 2009 President's Message
 June 2009 President's Message
 March 2009 President's Message
 May 2008 President's Message
 June 2008 President's Message
 July 2008 President's Message
 August 2008 President's Message
 September 2008 President's Message
 October 2008 President's Message
 November 2008 President's Message
 December 2008 President's Message
 January 2009 President's Message
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 April 2008 President's Message
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 February 2008 President's Message
 January 2008 President's Message
 December 2007 President's Message
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 March 2007 President's Message
 January 2007 President's Message
 December 2006 President's Message
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 Around OCA for February, 2006
 February 2005 President's Message
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 April 2004 Presidentís Message
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